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Landslides Block Srinagar-Jammu National Highway

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Srinagar: The Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed for traffic today in the wake of landslides at some places, even as the weather remained dry in Kashmir with the night temperature settling close to the freezing point at most places.

Landslides have occurred near Ramban and Battery Cheshma which have forced the closure of the highway, the only all weather road link connecting Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country.

Many vehicles were stranded along the nearly 300-km long highway and would only be allowed to proceed further once the debris is cleared, an official of the Traffic Control Room told PTI.

The men and machinery are on the job to clear the debris, he added.

The weather in Kashmir has remained dry during the last 24 hours but the Meteorological Department has forecast scattered to fairly widespread rains or snowfall in the state over the next 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Srinagar recorded a low of 0.8 degrees Celsius, a remarkable improvement after the 40-day harshest winter period known as ‘Chillai-Kalan’ ended on January 31.

Leh town in Ladakh region registered a low of minus 8.3 degrees, up from minus 11.9 degrees Celsius the previous night, making it the coldest recorded place in the state, the MeT official said.

The famous hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir, which serves as a base camp for annual Amarnath yatra, registered an improvement of nearly two degrees in the minimum temperature which settled at minus 1.4 degrees Celsius.

The official said the famous ski resort of Gulmarg, the star attraction for tourists visiting the Valley during winter, was the coldest recorded place in the Valley with the minimum of minus 5.4 degrees Celsius compared to the previous night’s minus 7.6 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature at Qazigund, Kupwara and Kokernag towns revolved near the freezing point at minus 0.8, 0.4 and minus 0.1 degree Celsius respectively, the official added.